With the release of Mafia 3 just a couple of weeks away, I thought now was a good time to look at some of the crazy things about the game that have been revealed in recent gameplay videos.
It’s pretty gruesome and violent
Gruesome and violent video games are nothing new, but Mafia 3 presents it in a very realistic way.
Many would consider Grand Theft Auto V to be a game that’s built around violence, but in GTA V the violence is always presented in a slightly cartoonish way. From what I’ve seen of the gameplay trailers, Mafia 3 doesn’t go for such a tongue-in-cheek view.
So far we’ve seen many people being shot, a man being thrown out of the window of a high-rise building and smashing into the roof of a car, and we’ve seen apparently innocent people screaming for their lives as they’re ripped apart in an alligator infested river after being thrown from their pleasure boat. It can get pretty harsh.
I think what makes it seem even more realistic though, and I’m not sure if these are just for the trailer or whether they’re in the actual game, are the TV news interviews where members of the public are describing some horrible event that they witnessed. It all adds to the feeling that those are actual people coming to harm, not just collections of pixels.
To be honest, with a Mafia-themed game, you’re going to expect violence though.
Civilians use payphones to call the police
This one struck me as quite amusing when I saw it in a gameplay video.
If you’ve played Watch Dogs, you’re probably used to the little red warning triangle that appears if a civilian witnesses you using a gun. It’s your warning that they’ve just got their mobile phone out and are making a call to the police.
In Mafia 3, you see a similar little red warning triangle appear to warn you that a civilian is calling the police, but then you turn to see them running towards a public payphone outside a store or a gas station. It is 1968, after all.
It’s quite a funny detail really, but one that’s a nice change from just having police magically appear when you commit a crime. In addition, it creates a bit of a foot race to get to the person before they get to the phone.
Whether you can smash the phone up before committing your crime so that nobody can use it to phone the police is something that we’ll have to investigate once the game is released though.
It depicts racism in a realistic, disturbing way
Although Mafia 3 is set in the fictional city of New Bordeaux, the game still depicts issue that were affecting its real-world counterpart, New Orleans, in 1968. Therefore, it really has to tackle racism and the Civil Rights Movement, especially since the player’s character, Lincoln Clay, is a man of colour.
From what I’ve seen, the most in-your-face depiction of racism involves the “Southern Union”, a fictional white supremacist group who appear to be New Bordeaux’s version of the Ku Klux Klan.
So far, we’ve seen the Southern Union producing posters, Confederate Flag and all, and holding rallies where the white cloak wearing members burn crosses. It’s quite a brave move for a mainstream video game to tackle issues like these in such a realistic way.
As well as the obvious racism presented by the Southern Union, Mafia 3 also depicts issues of racism in a more subtle way. For example, if Lincoln Clay is spotted committing a crime in one of the more affluent, dare I say “white”, neighbourhoods, the police will respond immediately. However, if he does the same in a poorer, non-white neighbourhood, the police will take longer to respond, or may not even respond at all.
This double-standard in policing is because New Bordeaux’s government want people in the non-white neighbourhoods to fight amongst themselves, in the hope that they wipe themselves out, thus leading to a “cleaner” New Bordeaux.
The good news for people who want to directly confront the racism though, is that Lincoln Clay apparently gets to take on the Southern Union and its bosses, and clean up New Bordeaux in his own way.
Obviously, some people will get upset or offended by the serious content of Mafia 3, but I don’t see why a video game with a mature rating shouldn’t be able to address adult themes in the same way that a movie can. After all, a minor can put a DVD into a player just as easily as they can load up a game.
Mafia 3 is released on 7th October 2016, so if you like the sound of absorbing yourself in the gritty atmosphere of New Bordeaux, pre-order today.